What skillsets should someone inerested in a career in finance have?
I'm thinking about a career in finance because i'm really good at math, but i'm wondering what additional skills I should have to really be successful in that industry? #finance #financial-services #investment-management #investing
I've worked in corporate finance and credit risk management, which requires a strong understanding of financial statement and analysis. In my role, I am constantly learning because every company is different. Once you've learned the basic concepts it is important to apply those concepts, but also figure out what is the best action in a given scenario. We have analysis here that want to be told what to do by their manager and others that prefer to explore all avenues on their own to determine the best outcome and run that by a manager if needed. Often there may not be one clear answer and you must evaluate many alternatives, which requires research and asking lots of questions. If you are a curious individual and genuinely interested in finance, you will do well.
The fact that you are really good at math is great. That will be very helpful. I would suggest you also be prepared to do a lot of reading because just being able to crunch the numbers isn't enough. You have to learn how to interpret the data and research the "why". This involves looking beyond the numbers and reading annual reports and other articles about particular companies.
Time management and being able to prioritize is important. If you're in corporate finance and you're working on closing the books you need to meet timelines, submit results to management, etc. everything has to be done within a certain time frame so you need to be able to prioritize and make sure you get everything done in time.
Analytical skills are also important, like Paul and Jenny said, you need to be able to find the "why". Anyone can read the numbers and tell you you're over budget or that your revenue is shrinking - but why!? what is the business reason for the deviation?
Also, think about where you want to go with your finance career ... Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Risk Management, Trading... skills needed will also depend on this.
Finance professionals should have extensive knowledge in math including creating financial reports, budgets, balance sheets and income statements.
Finance jobs require skills in communicating policies and procedures to other employees and customers. Finance professionals should be able to present the budget to staff members and explain why there is a profit or loss.
Finance professionals should be knowledgeable about using technology to access and make changes to important financial documents including budgets, purchase orders and customer accounts.
Finance professionals analyze market trends to forecast business, industry and economic conditions. Along with monitoring a company's finances, finance managers and executives perform data analysis and advise managers on ways to increase Profit.
Marcus - Great to hear you enjoy math and the concepts that entails. In terms of relating that to the business world, typically people with math backgrounds are very detailed, organized, and systematic in their approach to attacking a problem.
A strong finance analyst is able to apply those traits to work through data and come to conclusions on what is driving the results. It is extremly important to understand the "why" and to be able to clearly communicate the outcomes or solutions you are providing. Always strive to identify the trends and provide useful insight into the numbers.
Work on your excel skills and knowledge of a P&L, Income Statement, and Balance sheet.
Communication skills are critical. You need to get appropriate inputs for financial models and present outputs in a way that drives good decisions. Some communication methods I use on a regular basis are phone calls, email, instant messages, powerpoint decks, excel workbooks, and word documents. Visual aids and concise summaries are extremely important when dealing with executives.
Hi Marcus, liking math is definitely a great place to start! It is also helpful to be detail oriented and have good analytic skills. There will be times when you will need to research a lot of data in order to come up with a good explanation to what is driving numbers. Being able to identify these drivers as well as finding trends and patterns in the data is really valuable. We also use a lot of Excel and Oracle tools in FP&A. Understanding things like pivots, vlookups, etc. are great tools to get you started on analyzing financial data.
I wish you all the best, good luck Marcus!